Arnold Falls In Silicon Finals

Arnold Communications last week came up short in its quest for a major technology client, placing second to McCann-Erickson’s San Francisco office in the review for Silicon Graphics’ $40 million account.
Also making final presentations were incumbent CKS Partners in Cupertino, Calif., and Grey Advertising in Los Angeles. Silicon Graphics then narrowed the list to Arnold and McCann before naming the latter to promote its line of Visual personal computers. CKS will continue to handle corporate assignments.
“We need McCann to help us establish a new category in the PC realm,” said Michael Mace, marketing director for Silicon Graphics’ Visual PC division. Mace added that marketing strategy is in development.
Distance and a lack of international capabilities were apparently key factors in the loss, according to Arnold chief marketing officer and new business director Fran Kelly. Although the agency had promised the Mountain View, Calif.-based company that it would open a full-service office in the Silicon Valley if it won the account, the client felt more comfortable with nearby McCann, Kelly said.
Though not a high-tech specialist per se, McCann’s San Francisco outpost has worked for computer maker Hewlett-Packard, AT&T Wireless Service and Sega videogames.
It has been a stated goal of Arnold executives to establish a presence in the high-technology arena by winning a national showcase account. Last summer, the agency was runner-up to TBWA Chiat/Day in Venice, Calif., in the competition for Apple Computer’s $100 million ad business.
Boston-based Arnold does create consumer campaigns for telecommunications giant Bell Atlantic, and chief creative officer Ron Lawner and other staffers have serviced client Digital Equipment Corp. However, the agency at present has no high-tech business of note on its roster.–with Judy Warner and Jane Irene Kelly
In what industry executives saw as an effort to keep its name in the high-tech mix, the shop last week took the unusual step of issuing a press release announcing, “Arnold/Boston Comes in Second for Major Technology Brand . . . Again.”